Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rare Flix: Society (1989)

What the hell is this?!?  I have seen alot of Films.  I have seen alot of bizarre effects.  I've seen (Queen) Cobra Women, killer Tasmanian Devils, reincarnated Goddesses and flying Sharks.  Even so, the stuff I saw in here is...something else.  Today's Film is Society, a 1989 Film Directed by Brian Yuzna.  It is officially his Directorial Debut, but the Film was released 3 years later in America, so it seemed otherwise.  This one starts innocent enough, but slowly builds into something else.  By the End, you have to wonder what the hell this thing turned into.  A young man (Billy Warlock) is questioning all of the people surrounding him and how he will fit into society.  When bizarre proof of his paranoia appears, he decides to investigate...but he'll probably regret it.  Two things to note.  First, our Lead is the son of Dick Warlock aka The Original Shape/Michael Meyers.  With the last name 'Warlock,' I kind of guessed.  Secondly, this Film features the make-up work of Screaming Mad George, a man whose FX work should be more appreciated.  His body of work includes Predator, The Guyver (which he Directed), Bride of Re-Animator, The Bite, Arena and Beyond Re-Animator.  So that tells you that this Film is going to feature some freaky stuff.  To find out what, read on...
Billy here is confused.  He sees weird things that nobody else does and doesn't quite fit in.
He gets some confirmation for his paranoia when an audio tape from his Sister's 'Coming Out Party' implies that they are up to some freaky, sexual stuff.  Ew.
In typical Conspiracy Movie routine, people who get close to it (other than Billy) start to die and weird stuff starts to happen.  Let's get to the crazy now...
Early on, our hero sees what looks like his sister in the shower...with her boobs sticking out of her back.  Later on, this lady's leg...doesn't look quite right.

After some craziness and misdirection, he's drugged and declared dead...only to return home...and find lots of company.
At the big event, he learns that the rich people in town- or the Society- are some sort of weird, shape-shifting creatures that literally feed upon the poor!  They are gross as hell!

He learns that he was adopted as part of some grand experiment to set this all up.  These people love long-term planning!  He ultimately fights his rival- also a monster- and manages to win in a way that I won't SPOIL...but you can see the end result in the bottom right corner.
After all that craziness, he makes it out of the house with his friend and the one, good rich person.  They...leave and that's it?  Okay.  The End.
Wow.  Just wow.  I did NOT see this one coming!  I can see why my Brother gave this one to me- he knows how twisted I am.  For as much bizarre shit that I have seen, Body Horror is always a soft spot for me.  Stuff like Tokyo Gore Police find a way to freak me out.  Can you blame me?!?  There all sorts of freaky stuff in the last 20 minutes or so that show me just how much insanity one can make with Practical Effects.  I'll spare you the lecture on it- don't worry.  The Story does a nice job of a 'slow burn,' giving you little things (like the freaky image in the Shower and others) before finally 'going for it' with the finale.  What a finale!  The only mark against it is the way the Film just kind of ends without any real closure.  I was expecting them to burn the house down, blow it up or something.  They just leave?  Kind of weak.  Regardless, the Film as a whole was a real delight and now I feel silly for putting it off for so long.  What else have I been missing?!?  I think I'll just go before I, well, you get the joke...
Next up, I go into yet another Film blind.  If it is anything like this, I can only imagine!  Stay tuned...


  1. A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure to see this on the big screen as a double feature with "Re-Animator". Good times :)

  2. Yeah, this movie is tons of fun, I think it kind of inspired James Gunn for the ending of Slither.

  3. Screaming Mad George was one of the best make-up artists of the 80s. His effects in Faust: Love of the Damned rivaled his effects in Society and he created the single best make-up effect in all of the Elm Street movies -- the coachroach death in Nightmare 4.